Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A co-worker and I are fairly strongly divided on how to pronounce Linux. For a northern Midwest American (Milwaukee area, Wisconsin, to be exact), should it be pronounced

lin-uh ks

or

li'nuks?

pronunciations from: Linux. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 15, 2011, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Linux

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by RegDwigнt Sep 21 '12 at 21:02

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
Ask Linus Torvalds how he pronounces his first name, then you will know. –  Matt Эллен Aug 15 '11 at 14:34
    
We both agree on the Li portion, its the "nux" that is the problem –  Scott Chamberlain Aug 15 '11 at 14:35
    
This is a problem of intent. Many believe the intent was for "LINUX" to be pronounced "Linus"; however, uninformed readers of the LINUX acronym fall back on the established pronounciation of "UNIX". If Mr. Torvalds truly wanted to ensure correct pronounciation, he would have named it, "Linus; you call it LINUX." –  Mike Christian Aug 15 '11 at 15:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 17 down vote accepted

From the Linux Wikipedia page, here's how Linus Torvalds pronounces it: /'lɪ.nəks/

share|improve this answer
    
Horay for winning arguments with co-workers! (I was on the /lɪ'nəks/ side of the argument.) I will accept in 10 min. –  Scott Chamberlain Aug 15 '11 at 14:37
2  
Actually, it sounds to me like he says ['li.nəks] with an [i] in the first syllable, but I'd attribute that to his Finnish accent. I've never heard an English speaker use a vowel other than [ɪ] in this word. –  JSBձոգչ Aug 15 '11 at 14:53
1  
I know quite a few people who say ['laɪnəks] which is what normal English spelling rules would suggest. Only those with knowledge and interest in its origin, or those who have learnt it from these people, will know to say ['lɪnəks]. It thus joins other bits of "professional jargon" which mark the 'in' group from the rest, like patent lawyers saying ['pætənt] rather than ['pɛɪtənt] and professional musicians talking about fiddles. –  Colin Fine Aug 15 '11 at 16:10
    
"Linux" and "patent" are so easy to pronounce with a French accent :-) –  rds Aug 16 '11 at 12:39

For those like me to whom /'lɪ.nəks/ is greek.

Its pronounced as - Lih Nux.
Li as in Lee and Nux as in sucks. Don't get me wrong. I am a big linux fan.

share|improve this answer
1  
+1 for the answer and humor –  javaDisciple Jan 13 '12 at 13:27

The link to Torvalds' pronunciation is broken, but I have it on my hard drive. It is a quote from Torvalds himself (I meant Himself, sorry). In it, He says, "My name is Linus Torvalds, and I pronounce 'linux' as 'linux'."

The first vowel sound is the same as that in "LINT", and the second is the same as that in "SUCKS". So it ends up as "linnucks". The emphasis is on the first syllable.

share|improve this answer
1  
Yup, 'tis true. Listen for yourself, straight from the horse's mouth. –  J.R. Sep 21 '12 at 18:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.